Housing and Homelessness Policy Advocacy
In addition to providing quality legal services to individual clients struggling with homelessness and housing-related challenges, Inner City Law Center also engages in “impact” work, where we advocate for systemic policy changes or file lawsuits that aim to correct practices or achieve remedies that cannot be accomplished through individual representation of each affected individual.
A classic example of ICLC’s impact work is ICLC’s leadership of the Blue Ribbon Slum Housing Task Force in 1997, which resulted in the Systematic Code Enforcement Program in the City of Los Angeles.
This sort of innovative, effective policy change can dramatically improve the lives of our clients and the communities that we serve. Policy advocacy is most effective when the issues addressed and the remedies that are sought are rooted in a deep understanding of the underlying issues and the affected communities. Unfortunately, there are not enough sophisticated, thoughtful, and yet aggressively visionary voices on the housing issues that are so crucial to our clients’ lives.
Inner City Law Center fights for policies that end poverty within the communities we serve and result in more of us having the most basic of human needs – a home. Our areas of focus include:
- Homelessness Prevention –ICLC advocates for policies that strengthen the safety net for precariously housed families, so that far fewer of them are evicted onto the streets. The best way to end homelessness is to stop it from happening in the first place. Protection from unjust evictions and access to government benefits are often what allows people to avoid homelessness.
- Veteran Homelessness –ICLC advocates for policies that help our veteran clients move into stable housing and stay off the streets. More veterans are homeless in Los Angeles than anywhere else in the country. We focus on ensuring that these veterans have meaningful access to the health services, disability benefits, and housing to which they are entitled because of their service.
- Slum Housing – ICLC advocates for policies that ensure safe and healthy homes for everyone. We push for robust enforcement of existing laws to ensure that slumlords face consequences for taking advantage of tenants and failing to maintain their buildings.
- Permanent Supportive Housing – ICLC advocates for policies that expand supportive services for people who are chronically homeless and couple those services with permanent housing.
- Affordable Housing – ICLC advocates for policies that will preserve the affordable housing that we currently have, produce far more affordable housing, and ensure that everyone has access to decent and affordable housing. To end homelessness, everyone needs a home.
All of our policy work is done in deep collaboration with other organizations and individuals. We forge partnerships with community coalitions, tenant groups, legal services organizations, pro bono law firms, government agencies, research and educational institutions, elected leaders, foundations, and others. We actively participate in numerous coalitions that amplify our ability to promote policy change.
Provider Alliance to End Homelessness
ICLC is particularly proud of the work we have done to build and staff the Provider Alliance to End Homelessness. This coalition of 75 homeless service providers, nonprofit housing developers, and other community-based organizations offering services and housing to people experiencing homelessness advocates for public policies that provide long-term solutions to homelessness. We sponsor initiatives and policies based on informed best practices and community-developed solutions.